PC Gamer

This is the fourth game in the Gothic series of fantasy RPGs, but it’s the first with new developers Spellbound at the helm. The new "Arcania" title is an attempt to signify a fresh start for the franchise, but there’s nothing especially new about Gothic 4.

When the game begins, everyone is dangerously close to living happily ever after. In traditional Gothic style, you play as a nameless hero marked by destiny. He’s just proposed to his true love and the happy couple are expecting a child when suddenly, and inevitably, disaster strikes and his idyllic village is razed by the troops of the evil King Rhobar.

With fiancée, family and friends dead, it’s time for some revenge. Our man sets out on a mission to find a mystical forge hidden in the mountains, and to obtain the power to take down the mad monarch who wronged him. So begins a seamless adventure that has you travelling to every corner of the island, appeasing needy peasants, looting meandering dungeons and slaughtering boatloads of gibbering goblins.

Arcania’s huge, wide-open areas offer a gorgeous, if utterly familiar, rendition of a traditional medieval fantasy world. Rolling farmlands hide dungeons packed with a variety of typical foes. Soggy wooden townships are populated by meadguzzling peasants, and every single one of them has an errand to run.
Mead is murder
You name it, somebody wants it doing. Arcania’s inhabitants are some of the neediest I’ve ever encountered – thanks to some consistently awful voice acting, they’re also some of the most irritating.

Arcania is at its best when you’re in the wilderness, slaying foes and exploring the beautiful world. The fast and accessible combat system will be familiar to Gothic 3 players: left clicking unleashes melee strikes or magic bolts, while right clicking enables you to block or dodge. Enemies glow obligingly before unleashing their most powerful strikes, and survival depends heavily on getting out of the way and counter-attacking. There are a few disciplines to master, including melee combat, archery and magic, but I quickly fell into the rhythm of the old zap ‘n’ stab, an ultimately tiresome tactic that got me through every single fight. The slim offering of skills meant there was never sense that I was building my own character, simply opting in to one of several pre-designed combat styles.

Arcania’s systems may be shallow, but I still became completely hooked. The game transitions effortlessly from open areas to claustrophobic dungeons, from mountain ranges to tightly packed towns. I fell easily into the rhythm of exploring, fighting off a mob, rounding the next corner and exploring some more. Arcania’s greatest strength is its comforting sense of rhythm and its gorgeous, gradually unravelling world. The expert pacing had me rocketing through the 15 hours or so it took to complete the main quest.

Gothic veterans may be left cold by this uncomplicated outing for the series, but for those looking for a good old-fashioned fantasy romp, Arcania has its charms. It’s predictable and shallow, with horrendous voice work, but if you go in expecting no surprises, there’s some incredibly addictive adventuring to be had.
Product Update - Valve
An update for Arcania: Gothic 4 has been released. The update will be applied automatically when your Steam client is restarted.
Product Release - Valve
ArcaniA - Gothic 4 is now available in Europe and ROW. Will be released in North America on October 19th.

War covers the southern islands until it finally reaches the idyllic isle of Feshyr. You take on the role as the new nameless hero after your village has been pillaged and destroyed by paladins of the king. Seeking revenge, you soon realize that this cowardly attack did not just happen on a reckless mercenary`s whim. A mysterious evil power lies in waiting and fortunately you’re not alone to unravel the ancient secrets: your fate is linked to a beautiful lady wearing a powerful artifact from the long-forgotten past...

Product Release - Valve
Arcania: Gothic 4 is now available for pre-purchase as part of The Arcania Bundle (bundle includes Arcania: Gothic 4 and Gothic 3). Pre-purchase before release and start playing Gothic 3 right away!